Iran election: Hassan Rouhani gets big mandate but will he deliver?

His conservative challenger Ebrahim Raisi lagged behind with grasping 15,786,449 votes, amounting to 38.5 percent of the ballots.

"Our nation's message in the election was clear".

One of the first world leaders to congratulate Rouhani was Syrian President Bashar Assad, whose government is strongly backed by Tehran.

DUBAI: Iranians yearning for more freedom at home and less isolation overseas have emphatically re-elected President Hassan Rouhani, throwing down a challenge to the conservative clergy that still holds ultimate sway.

Now, Parsi continues, Rouhani "must take decisive action to protect the human rights and civil liberties of the Iranian people, pursue improved relations with the world, and promote economic growth for the Iranian people".

"Democracy in Iran is allowed to bloom only a few days every four years, while autocracy is evergreen", said Karim Sadjadpour, senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment who focuses on Iran.

The Iranians have chosen to live in peace with their neighbors and global countries, he said, adding that Iran will not accept "humiliation and threat" in mutual ties.

After his re-election there were celebrations in the capital, Tehran, with crowds of young people singing and dancing in the central Vali Asr Square.

"Today is the golden page in the history of the Islamic Republic of Iran", Rouhani's interior minister, Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli, said in televised remarks.

Election officials repeatedly extended Friday's voting hours until midnight to accommodate long lines of voters, some of whom said they waited hours to cast their ballots.

The moderate Rouhani was elected president for a second term on May 19, some 57 percent of the voters backing him with over 23 million votes.

President Donald Trump has repeatedly described the nuclear pact as "one of the worst deals ever signed". The deal was as unpopular among Iranian hard-liners as it was among conservative Americans.

Still, Rouhani's reelection - combined with reformist candidates' strong showing in last year's parliamentary elections - represents an expression of popular will that Khamenei may be forced to accommodate.

Raisi served as a judge before running for president. But what scant data that was available before the vote showed Rouhani in the lead. He is close to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran's supreme leader, who stopped short of endorsing anyone in the election.

The position of president is a powerful post.

At the Interior Ministry, the official and final result came sooner than expected.

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